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The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History$
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Paul Harvey and Edward Blum

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231140201

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231140201.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Theology

Theology

Chapter:
(p.105) 4. Theology
Source:
The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History
Author(s):

Mark Noll

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231140201.003.0005

This chapter surveys the history of American theology. The activity of religious believers has been constantly transformative within American culture and, since the late nineteenth century, for the world. Yet the impact of what Americans have thought about God has been less obvious and less extensive. Nonetheless, the history of American theology shows how both inherited traditions and popular innovations have interacted with pressing circumstances to produce theological reflection of surprising breadth and unexpected depth. This chapter discusses the characteristics of American religious experience during the colonial period; theology in the new United States during the period 1776–1865; shifts in the theological landscape between 1865 and 1945; and changes in American theology in the recent past. It also provides examples of the folk origins of high theology and the theological base of popular religious movements in America.

Keywords:   American history, American theology, God, religious experience, colonial period, United States, high theology, religious movements

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